Condrosulf Australia is the trading name of CS Ethical Pty Ltd. CS Ethical is an Australian owned and managed company incorporated specifically for the purpose of making Condrosulf available in Australia.
Internationally labelled Condrosulf is brought to Australians (and via this website) to the rest of the world in Australian regulatory compliant English language labelling. The Condrosulf supplied by CS Ethical is in fact the Swiss Condrosulf product that has had English overlay labels applied.
In terms of a profile of myself, Andrew Mowbray, Managing Director and major shareholder of CS Ethical, my last 19 years were in international trading in bulk chondroitin sulfate and the commercialisation of proteoglycan based consumer products for the health food and pharmaceutical wholesale industries.
My earlier experience in commercialisation of proteoglycan based consumer product was principally in Australia. While the chondroitin sulfate (and the raw materials required for its manufacture) trading was global in nature and involved dealing with buyers from Europe, US, Asia and Australia.
From the very earliest days I became aware of Condrosulf and had never before, or since, encountered any chondroitin sulfate product, or manufacturer, that was in any way comparable to Condrosulf and IBSA’s commitment to their product. Very few manufacturers, let alone products, of any description, let alone a medical grade chondroitin, can refer to a 33 year history since first registration in Switzerland as an ethical pharmaceutical. Or in any way approach the standards of chondroitin sulfate manufacture that IBSA maintains for Condrosulf. It is a global leadership position that is literally decades ahead.
IBSA and Condrosulf are well into into their fourth decade of indisputably leading the world in the research and production of medical grade chondroitin. In 2012 with new trial results on Condrosulf and hand arthritis their leadership simply continues on in an uncompromisingly consistent manner.
The exceptional efficacy and quality of Condrosulf led me to the conclusion, when I first encountered it in 1996, that it would undoubtedly become available in Australia sometime in the immediate future.
This anticipation of fully expecting that an astute commercialising entity would take up Condrosulf and it would become available in Australia in the immediate future – went on for over 10 years.
In 2006 I was a father of young family, taking phone calls from around the world, around the clock and had mastered the art of the day trip to Tokyo. While the international business experience was very rewarding, your children are only young once, so I decided to take a step back.
Towards the end of this period of international dealings I had some direct involvement with IBSA. I was very impressed with the professionalism of their company and their competent use of micro assay procedures in their quality control systems. This competence notably distinguished them from all other chondroitin sulfate manufacturers I had ever dealt with.
Condrosulf had, despite dominating the peer reviewed published medical literature on chondroitin sulfate, unbelievably, had still not come to Australia. Despite massive growth by health supplement/nutraceutical grade chondroitins of every imaginable brand in the ‘joint food’ category sold in both health food and pharmacies in Australia.
Condrosulf’s medical literature is frequently used by Australian health supplement/nutraceutical products to support their therapeutic claims in advertising and for regulatory compliance, despite these products, at the molecular and evidentiary level, bearing little resemblance to Condrosulf.
This ‘inference’ of efficacy by health supplement/nutraceutical products, while technically is not illegal under Australian law, in most cases, depending on the level of the claims, is simply just not accepted by the majority of informed medical specialists both in Australia and overseas.
These inferences of same level efficacy is certainly not accepted by world leading researchers of chondroitin sulfate and many peer reviewed published articles have been written on exactly this issue.
There is a very real need for practitioners and consumers to be aware that there are many different standards and types of chondroitin sulfate yet very few have medical evidence, or are manufactured to a medical standard.
It is an area of Australian law that will hopefully, some day, be improved. There have been attempts in the past to better regulate the typical ingredients in ‘joint food’ health supplements however industry lobbyists defeated the initiative. Hopefully in the future the interests of consumers will be put before industry.
This ‘inference’ of similarity between medical grade chondroitin sulfate and health supplement/nutraceutical grade chondroitin sulfate is at the core of the confusion over the arguments of the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate when ‘chondroitin’ as a generic substance is reviewed in meta-analysis and hotly debated in medical forums.
Some medical trials have been conducted using generic chondroitin products that were not subjected to micro assays to ensure the correct chondroitin isomers were in fact present. Not surprisingly these trials often have mixed results.
I am firmly of the opinion that any chondroitin sulfate product that has not been manufactured in a manner that ensures the presence of the active constituents, and any medical trial using a chondroitin that has not clearly determined the presence of the correct chondroitin isomers, cannot be included in any meta analysis or discussion on the efficacy of ‘chondroitin’ as a generic substance. This topic is another essay all in itself.
There is no such confusion with the manufacture of Condrosulf or its medical trials. These issues are well understood. IBSA’s rigorous quality control systems ensure the correct chondroitin isomers are actually in each and every packet of Condrosulf. Consumers can buy and use the same product that was used in the medical trial.
It was for reasons such as these, and many others, that I signed for Condrosulf in Australia.
I was also very keen to bring to consumers a better value proposition than so many of the heavily marketed food grade chondroitins. It is a little known fact that Condrosulf, despite being a medical product, with peer reviewed and published medical trials to support its claims, is actually less expensive per daily dose than many food grade chondroitins sold in Australia.
When I returned to Australian pharmaceutical commercialisation again I was very much looking forward to taking up the banner and correcting the Australian (and US & UK) anomaly that the very product that had been responsible for so much of the medical research on chondroitin sulfate was not available in countries that spent so much on buying health supplement/nutraceutical grade chondroitins.
CS Ethical was incorporated and by 2009 and there was Condrosulf available on pharmacy shelves in four Australian states as part of a test market to assess Australians’ response to Condrosulf.
It suffices to say that Condrosulf was very well received by Australian consumers and they were buying it in increasing numbers. In the absence of any marketing it had a growth rate that was truly exciting. There was some unexpected media which resulted in Australian stocks being sold out and when stocks were restored a new manager of the wholesaler we were supplying pharmacies through, in an inexplicable manner, despite a significant active order from the previous manager, refused to put Condrosulf back on the shelf??!! I had seen this happen to other products before and I was left to speculate what had just happened.
It was a blessing in disguise because our online business grew and forced us to take our website sales seriously. Then a couple of long term users of Condrosulf suggested setting up a subscription for monthly supply of Condrosulf. We talked about the idea with our customers and came up with a Condrosulf subscription product. Our customers absolutely loved it – which is not really surprising because it was built according to what they said they wanted.
In late 2014 I received a commitment from IBSA, the Swiss manufacturer of Condrosulf, that they could supply whatever demand was generated by the Australian market. Furthermore they supported the direct to consumer business model.
So in 2015 Condrosulf will no longer be the exclusive preserve of a few early adopters who have done their online research but will be made available the the wider Australian public.
That is where we are today.
Thank you for your attention.